5 Things to Consider When Deciding If a Wealth Advisor Is Right for You

Rich Gartelmann, CFP®, Senior Vice President/Senior Investment Officer—Wealth Management

Rich Gartlemann Bio PictureChoosing an investment advisor, like so many things in life, is all about finding a comfortable fit. If the relationship is going to work, you have to be comfortable not only with the person, but the company they represent and the approach they take to making recommendations and decisions regarding your future.

Taking Measure
Here are five things to keep in mind when evaluating an advisor to determine if they are a good match for you.

  1. Who does more talking in the meeting? Your meetings, especially the first meeting, should mainly be about you, not an advisor’s services and products. The advisor should be focused on listening to you talk about your goals for your money, your attitudes toward risk and your current needs. Only then can they know what services and products they should be discussing with you.
  2. How are they paid? When it comes to fees, it shouldn’t be about finding the lowest fee option but about finding the advisory relationship that provides you with the greatest value. That value should be a combination of good advice, a full range of services and the potential for achieving the long-term results you seek. For instance, wealth management departments like ours are fee based.
  3. How responsive is their approach to change? Automated advisor platforms are becoming more and more popular. They are certainly more economical. But, they are programed based on averages and logic. Your life is probably not average. It’s likely to be highly dynamic with unexpected events and expenses. When life doesn’t go as planned, it helps to be able to talk to a person who can advise you on how to make adjustments while keeping you on track for your reaching your goals.
  4. What are their qualifications? Many wealth managers—ours included—have earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. The designation is awarded after the completion of a rigorous certification process. To retain the certification, CFP®s have to meet ongoing education requirements. But, before handing your personal information over to anyone, no matter how many designations they have after their name, you should still follow a “trust but verify” policy. Find out if they have ever been disciplined for unethical or unlawful behavior. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) makes checking backgrounds easy through its online source, BrokerCheck. You can also look up registered investment advisers—those registered with the SEC or the state’s regulatory authorities here.
  5. Are they willing to provide a preview? To get a feel for what your experience would be like if you were a client, ask the advisor about how often and under what circumstances you’ll hear from them. Also, ask how they communicate—is it by phone, email or will they text you for a quicker response? Then, request referrals from current clients and talk to them about what they like and wish would improve about their relationship.

In the end, hiring an advisor is a lot like hiring an employee—their qualifications, attitude and work ethic need to match yours for a long and successful relationship to flourish.

For more information on how we approach and deliver wealth management services, visit us here or call 630-906-2000. We can’t wait to talk to you about what we can do for you today.

Women and Wealth: What You Need to Know

Jacqueline Runnberg, CFP®, Vice President/Wealth Advisor

Jacqueline Runnberg“Girl power!” isn’t just an empowered cry from the 1990s girl band rock scene. It speaks to the current reality: the growing influence of women as wealth creators and decision makers.

Today, women are more likely to achieve higher levels of education and participate in the workforce at a similar rate to men. They also head up a growing number of households due to divorce, lifestyle choices and longer lifespans. In fact, it’s estimated that 95 percent of women will be their family’s primary financial decision maker at some point in their lives.[1]

In the U.S., women currently control about $11.2 trillion—39 percent of this country’s investable assets.[2] By 2030, it’s expected that at least two-thirds of the nation’s wealth will be in the hands of women.[3]

Yet for all this financial firepower, women tend to lag men when it comes to planning for their financial futures.

What Makes It Different for Women

When it comes to investing, women are said to be more conservative investors who are generally inclined to take less risk. This isn’t entirely a bad thing—men generally take too much risk. But, being too conservative can leave women unprepared to meet their income and health care needs later in life.

Unlike men, women also tend to put more emphasis on objectives and planning and are better savers. These are also very good tendencies for ensuring that wealth takes care of family members. But often, this planning isn’t being expanded to accommodate their own needs, needs that arise from longer life spans.[4]

Thinking About Tomorrow

Runnberg InfographicAmong the realities we try to make our clients more aware of is that women tend to live longer, which leads to the need for their invested wealth to last longer. Women often outlive their husbands. And if they are single, their longer life span makes them even more vulnerable to the high cost of health care than men and puts them in even greater need for planning.

Addressing these issues can extend beyond money. It can require a Plan B, should it not be feasible to count on other family members to step in if a single or widowed woman becomes incapacitated.

As part of a bank trust company, we can provide more encompassing services than many financial advisors. These include serving as a trustee, settling estates and ensuring bills are paid and medical and household services are received when a client becomes temporarily or permanently incapacitated.

It’s all part of the holistic range of services we can provide our clients to help them feel empowered, confident and secure when it comes to talking about, understanding and then planning and investing for their family’s future needs as well as their own.

[1] Heather R. Ettinger and Eileen M. O’Connor, “Women of Wealth: Why Does the Financial Services Industry Still Not Hear Them,” Family Wealth Advisors Council, 2011.
[2] Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Andrea Turner Moffitt with Melinda Marshall, “Harnessing the Power of the Purse: Female Investors and Global Opportunities for Growth,” Center for Talent Innovation, 2014.
[3] Heather R. Ettinger and Eileen M. O’Connor, “Women of Wealth Study: Why Does the Financial Services Industry Still Not Hear Them,” Family Wealthy Advisors Council, 2011.
[4] Jean Chatzky, “Why women are better investors than men,” fortune.com, posted April 10, 2015, retrieved September 18, 2015.

Non-deposit investment products are not insured by the FDIC; not a deposit of, or guaranteed by, the bank; may lose value.

Old Second: Connect with a Child in Need at our Angel Tree

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AngelTree

Get connected with a child in need by visiting our Angel Tree!

Please help put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season by taking an Angel Tag from the tree, purchasing the gift listed on the tag, and returning it (unwrapped) with the tag attached. You can return the gift to the Personal Banking department. Items requested range from newborn to clothes to toys to books. You can also donate wrapping paper and/or gift bags.

The tree is located on the counter behind the reception desk in the main lobby at the Main Old Second Bank, 37 S. River Street- Aurora.

Tags are also available at our Redwood branch, 555 Redwood Drive- Aurora.

All gifts are to be returned to the bank by December 10th, 2014.

#O2CONNECTION

Old Second College Checking: $75 Just for Signing Up!

Old Second Bank offers a great account for college students looking to save!  There is no minimum balance requirement or monthly fees.

When you sign up, you get $75! Old Second’s college checking also offers a great rewards program.

Old Second: A Commercial Lender in the Community for over 140 Years

Executive VP Donald Pilmer explains the unique position of a community bank with a personal touch, and the financial muscle to provide commercial and industrial lending for equipment, credit and the cash management expertise required in order to prosper. Even in tough times, Old Second has worked with the business community to meet their commercial banking needs. Businesses know Old Second Bank is there when it matters most.

Learn more…

FHFA Extends HARP to 2015

Old Second Residential LendingOld Second Residential Lending division has positioned itself to accommodate the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).  The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to extend HARP by two years to December 31, 2015. The program was set to expire December 31, 2013.

In addition, FHFA will soon launch a nationwide campaign to inform homeowners aboutHARP. This campaign will educate consumers about HARP and its eligibility requirements and motivate them to explore their options and utilize HARP before the program ends.

The HARP program is designed specifically to help borrowers who may not qualify for traditional refinancing due to low home value or because they have low or no home equity. Borrowers may be able to lower their monthly payment, their rate or move from an adjustable rate loan product to a fixed rate loan product.

“The housing industry has a seen a number of changes in the past several years.” said Steve Weber, senior vice resident of residential lending at Old Second Bank. “Old Second has taken the necessary measures to act as facilitators.  We want to make it easy and economical for consumers to take advantage of these federal programs.”

To be eligible for a HARP refinance homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • The loan must be owned or guaranteed, and acquired by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The borrower must be “current” on their mortgage payments – no missed payments in the last 6 months, and no more than one payment missed in the last 12 months.)
  • The first mortgage can exceed the current market value of the home.

Borrowers can visit http://www.oldsecond.com/loans/home-loans/#special-financing to get more information about the HARP program and to determine if their loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.